Awakening, Episode One: Total Solar Eclipse

I’m trying to do a few too many things at once, and it’s hard to hear what direction my soul is pulling me when I do this juggling act.

I’m writing fiction, bass riffs, a love story, and my destiny. I’m curious to invent new scripts for myself, new paradigms that match my true intention, and fresh habits and perspectives that both keep me grounded and feed my flame. While I endeavor to live as fully as possible while maintaining balance, I tip the scales regularly.

Yesterday I felt called to post the first episode in my “Awakening” narrative. It’s a series of prose a poetry pieces that illustrate the opening I experienced (am experiencing) that began with my viewing of the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 (the same day as my birthday). I wrote many months ago; here it is:

My 32nd Revolution

A door flung open on the day marking the beginning my 32nd year. I learned, during my intellectualized young adulthood, to scoff at astrology. How can relative positions of stars and planets and rocks affect human lives, moods, behaviors, or destinies? However, I know I was changed forever by experiencing the solar eclipse from the path of totality on August 21, 2017.

I found myself floating on Kentucky Lake in a inner tube; near me were my dear friend and his wife. As we bobbed and drifted on the water, bird watching and communing with nature, we all shared presence. The anticipation was building toward the astronomical event of the long weekend. We watched through dark lenses as our moon slipped in front of our sun, instilling the crescent shape on it in reciprocity for all those nights the moon had been allowed to illuminate only a fraction of its face. Suddenly, the corona burst forth.


I adored the great white egret, resident to the cypress grove adjacent to our camp, and I felt a sense of camaraderie and compassion when she became confused during the false dusk. I wanted to comfort her. I knew something she did not: that the dark was temporary, and she would be wading in the sun again in a few minutes. As the air temperature plummeted, the sky grew dim, and the horizon glowed with sunset colors, we three regarded each other with huge grins on our faces, knowing there was nowhere else we’d rather be. Time stretched out as we marveled at, and felt intricately connected to, Nature.

I’m not sure what made that day so transformative. It may have been the utter beauty we witnessed: a 360 degree sunset, the horizon visible on all sides, the grace of egrets as they waded, fished, and then roosted in the false dusk, the bald eagle soaring over the tree line. It may have been how intimately we integrated with nature: having our toes and legs nibbled by fish, greeting turtle noses as they emerged from the water, using cypress trees as distance gauges and navigation markers, and calling, “Who cooks for youuuu? Who cooks for y’allll,” back to the barred owl near our camp at night. It may have been living with the bare essentials and entertaining ourselves with exercise, storytelling, and astronomy: wearing ourselves out by swimming from our flint beach to the sandy shore by the boat ramp, engaging in conversation while floating, sometimes lazily, other times playfully or vivaciously, relating tales by fickle firelight, gaping at the Milky Way, realizing we were looking sidelong at our spiral-shaped galaxy, riding a tiny blue dot ourselves, and sleeping in hammocks with night sounds as our lullaby.


What made the eclipse so life-altering? Maybe it was the magic of being drawn so completely in the present moment, with not only my two friends, but everyone gathered in the path of totality. With so many people focused on the same event, all filled with awe, wonder, and reverence, the collective swelled so much it was palpable. There was no fear or competition in that moment, nothing to divide us, we were all there, together, in mind, body, and spirit.

I will never forget those two minutes and forty seconds — the still lake, the elegant egrets, the fire on the horizon, the sudden chill in the air, our goofy grins, shouts of pro-social excitement across the lake, and the breathtaking corona. My ecstatic day.


Written by Jessie Browne
Originally published on Hoosier Mystic
Copyright 2017 CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credits: 

  1. Cypress Photo by Kyle Glenn
  2. Egret Photo by David Clode
  3. Photo by Bryan Goff

All found on Unsplash

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